Colors of Spain and Portugal Tour

12 Day Portugal and Southern Spain Itinerary

Colors of Spain and Portugal Tour

11 Days/10 Nights

Small Group Tour 
Limited to 12 guests

September 17 to 27, 2024 (Sept. 27 to October 1, Portugal)

From $4,657 per person for Spain portion (based on double occupancy) $1,757 pp for Portugal extension


DAY 1:  Arrival day in Madrid

DAY 2:  Madrid walking tour including Royal Palace

DAY 3:  Cordoba by high-speed train, guided visit of the Mezquita

DAY 4:  City of Granada

DAY 5:  Moorish palace, Alhambra

DAY 6:  Wine and olive oil experiences

DAY 7:  Enjoy the beauty of Ronda

DAY 8:  The Roman site Italica

DAY 9:  Tour of Sevilla, Flamenco show

DAY 10: Market tour and Paella cooking class

DAY 11: Departure Day and for those traveling on with me to Portugal (see "4-day extension to Portugal" for details below)

**Small Group Tour, one exclusive 2024 date**


  • Be immersed in Moorish-style opulence at the UNESCO world heritage site, the Alhambra
  • Explore the heart of Andalusia, where palaces, cathedrals and "pueblos blancos" have a story to tell
  • Savor tasty regional cuisine & wine in authentic local restaurants
  • Taste olive oil pressed at a traditional mill
  • Experience the Triana food market tour & paella cooking class in Seville
  • Enjoy an intimate Flamenco Show
  • Explore the Jewish Quarter and incredible Mezquita in Cordoba
  • Relax in the care of your dedicated local tour leader

PRICING: $4,657 per person (based on double occupancy). Not including airfare.
Portugal extension $1,757 pp (based on double occupancy)

$500 Deposit, per person, is required to secure your space on this tour


Madrid, Granada, Ronda, Cordoba, Sevilla and 4 day extension to Portugal

Arrival Airport: Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD)
Departure Airport for Spain: Sevilla airport (SVQ)
Departure Airport for Portugal: Lisbon International airport (LIS)

As your local host for the duration of your trip, I would like to take you straight to the soul of Spain by guiding you, not only to famous sites, but also to my favorite places off the beaten path where you can enjoy the rhythm of daily life.  Whether you love culture, cuisine, family fun or a bit of everything, this hand-crafted tour offers you an unforgettable taste of Spain.

Suggested time to travel: April/May and Sept/Oct
It is very hot in Spain during the summer.

Day to day itinerary

Itinerary specifics subject to change


I will be waiting for you with our driver at baggage claim for our transfer to your hotel in the city.  

Madrid stands at the very center of Spain –geographically, culturally, and politically. Madrid not only offers the culture and good times of a sophisticated, modern city but it also retains the charm and elegance of its early years. The power and glory of Madrid is reflected in its parks, plazas, boulevards and in the pride and panache of today’s Madrilenos. 

Among the splendid attractions of Madrid are the Prado Museum, home to masterworks of Goya, Velazquez and El Greco; the 19th century Villahermosa Palace now the Thyssen-Bornemizsa Museum; the Reina Sofia Art Centre showcasing more than 300 modern works by Dali, Miro and Picasso among others; the 18th century Royal Palace on the lovely Plaza de Oriente; the bustling Puerta del Sol with its many shops, restaurants and tapas bars; Rastro Market on Sundays one of the oldest outdoor markets in Europe; and Retiro Park for strolling while admiring local artists and buskers.

This evening, enjoy an included tapas tour:  You’ll take part in a guided small group tapas tour with all food and drinks included. It’s a great way to experience Madrid’s most interesting and authentic bars and restaurants without the research or guesswork. Your guide will recommend the wines and other drinks to try and will order specialty tapas at each bar or tavern. Your guide will talk about the history of tapas, the types of tapas served in Madrid and elsewhere in Spain and will also give you a history of the neighborhood you are visiting as well.


After breakfast, you’ll be met at your hotel by your expert local Madrid guide who will take you on a private tour of the historic city center. You’ll enjoy visiting such places such as the Plaza del Sol, Plaza Santa, Plaza Mayor as well as the Mercado San Miguel, one of Madrid’s famous food markets.  

You will continue with your guide to Plaza de la Villa and the Plaza del Oriente. Visit the Royal Palace that stands on the site of an old alcazar fortress and a former Moorish castle. With 3,418 rooms rivalling Versailles, there’s something to represent every style (and every monarch) since its construction (note: being a government building, the Royal Palace is often closed for ceremonies and official events that can come up at the last minute, so this visit is subject to change)

This afternoon in your time of leisure make your own discoveries, visit other wonderful sites in Madrid like the Prado Museum. The museum is a wonderful space dating back to 1785 that now houses art from the 12th to the 19th century including large permanent collections by Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.

DAY 3: CORDOBA - travel by high speed train

After breakfast, transfer to the train station for your high-speed train to Cordoba.

Cordoba (population 300,000), one of Andalusia's eight provincial capitals, stands on the banks of the River Guadalquivir northeast of Seville. Cordoba is an unhurried city, known for its abundant courtyards (or patios as they are called locally), flowers dangling from balconies and narrow winding streets. The city was founded around 169 B.C. by the Roman praetor Claudius Marcelus and was the birthplace of Seneca. The city boomed under the Arabs and, on the arrival of the Caliphate, became the most civilized and sophisticated city in 10th-century Europe. During this century, Cordoba had nearly 1,000 mosques, 600 public baths and street lighting (700 years before either London or Paris). Cordoba´s sophistication attracted numerous intellectuals, scholars, poets, doctors, and philosophers. Later, the city was conquered by the Christians and this equally important legacy can still be seen today.

After lunch, meet your expert local Cordoba guide at your hotel and spend the morning exploring the city that was the great Moorish capital of Al Andalus. A walk around the old Jewish quarter gives the sensation that little has changed since the 10th century. You have pre-booked tickets to visit the Mosque-Cathedral or Mezquita which is without doubt one of the most famous constructions in all of Andalusia and is one of the largest mosques in the Islamic world. The original Mosque was built between 786 and 788 by Abd ar-Rahman, but over the centuries, many additions and extensions have been made. Following the Christian conquest, it was consecrated as a Cathedral in 1236.

Visit the Synagogue built in 1314, a beautiful Mudejar building nearly perfectly preserved and the only synagogue in Spain from that time not to have been turned into a Christian building. See Almodovar gate or ‘Gate of the Jews’ as it is known locally and the monument to the great Jewish doctor and philosopher, Maimonides. Also see beautiful courtyard patios for which Cordoba is so famous.

After the tour and before dinner, I recommend a walk to the Roman bridge across the Guadalquivir River.


Enjoy a leisurely morning visiting the patios of Cordoba or Viana Palace before we continue East today to the unforgettable city of Granada, which was the last strong hold of the Moorish empire in southern Spain until it finally fell to the Catholic kings in 1492. Granada (Gáranata) was once the grandest city in Spain!  Set at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, it is the most visited of all Andalusian cities.

In the evening, after you checked in to your boutique hotel located in the heart of the city, join your local host, for a short orientation walk around the ancient Albaicin neighborhood, the old Moorish quarter that has hardly changed since the 15th century, to end up at the famous viewpoints overlooking the incredible Alhambra, Plaza San Nicolas. 

Relax during dinner at a "Carmen" (a traditional Granada house with a large garden of vines and fruit trees) with stunning views of the Alhambra. 


Today, following breakfast, meet your expert guide for a private guided visit of the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, with pre-booked tickets included.

This complex of palaces built around courtyards of flowering trees, pools and fountains is often hailed as the most exciting, sensual, and romantic of all European monuments. It’s beauty shows the brilliance and spirit of the Moorish culture in Andalusia at a time when the rest of Europe was only just beginning to emerge from the Dark Ages. You will also tour the Generalife - the summer palace and gardens of the Sultans. It is one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens. It is one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens. Prepare to be wowed by the water features and courtyards. You’ll also visit the cathedral and the Royal Chapel where your guide will give you an overview of the history of the cathedral and point out the lead coffins of the Catholic Monarchs, Fernando and Isabella, who re-conquered and unified Spain in 1492.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.


Your private driver and guide will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and transfer you safely, in a little over 2 hours, to your centrally located hotel in Ronda. Ronda is one of the most spectacularly located towns in Andalusia, and sits on a massive rocky outcropping. It is also one of the gateways to the Pueblos Blancos (White Villages). The Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, an impressive 18th century construction over the steep El Tajo Gorge (nearly 100 m deep) joins old Ronda with new Ronda.

This fairytale setting dating back to Roman times, has attracted the likes of Ernest Hemingway, who based “For Whom the Bell Tolls” on this city, as well as Orson Wells, whose ashes are buried on a bull farm just outside of town. The interior of Andalucía is responsible for many of the memorable images we have of Spain.

Ronda is considered the spiritual home of bullfighting, having one of the country’s oldest bullrings. Other highlights include the old town with its lovely old palaces, of which the Mondragon Palace (now a museum) stands out.

Before reaching Ronda, we have a couple of special stops. The first is at an olive oil mill for a tour and tasting. Spain is the largest producer of Olive Oil in the world and 80% of Spanish total production is in Andalusia. The production of olive oil in Spain dates back almost 6,000 years ago with the settlement of Phoenician and Greeks. Ever since then, olive oil has continued to be an integral base of most Spanish cuisine. Similarly, Spanish wine has been elevated to the status of one of the best wines in the world for its wide variety of grapes and exquisite taste.

The second is at a local winery. Wine has been made in Ronda and the Serrania since Phoenician and Grecian times, and in fact may have been made by iron age peoples before them. We can only speculate at the quality of wines produced in those olden times, though it is certain that wines were produced commercially during the Roman era, notably at Acinipo and Arriate, and most likely stored in warehouses at Setenil for eventual transport to Rome and the other great cities of the Roman Empire.

After you have checked in to your hotel, relax at hour hotel with a dinner at your leisure. 


Today, after breakfast, you'll meet your expert local Ronda guide. Discover firsthand the beauty of Ronda on this private walking tour. Explore the city's most iconic monuments and sights like the Arab baths, Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, Casa Don Bosco, Old Town Hall, and one of Spain's oldest bullfighting rings.

This afternoon is at your leisure to relax and enjoy Ronda. Dinner is also at your leisure. 


Today, we’ll take the road less traveled as your private driver and guide meet you at the hotel after breakfast and transfer you safely to Seville and your centrally located boutique hotel, with a few wonderful stops along the way. The beauty of the Sierra de Grazalema region is unmatched in Spain. Its combination of dramatic mountain scenery and splendid whitewashed villages makes you half expect to see medieval Berber farmers and Christian knights. Andalucía contains scores more white towns, all similar in their outward appearance, but each, on closer inspection, hiding distinctly different cultures and personalities. 

Before arrving at our hotel in Sevilla, we will stop and visit the site known as Italica. 

The Roman ruins of Italica, with remarkable mosaics and an impressive amphitheatre, are located 9 kilometres to the north of the city of Seville, just outside the village of Santiponce. Nearby you can also see a well preserved Roman theatre.  Italica was the birthplace of three Roman emperors - Trajan, Hadrian, and possibly Theodosius. One of the earliest Roman settlements in Spain, it was founded in 206 BC by Publius Cornelius Scipius to house legionaries after the battle of Ilipa, which saw the Carthaginians (from North Africa) were defeated. The town rose to high social and military status in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, when Trajan and his nephew Hadrian were in power. Hadrian named the town, which had a population of 8,000, Colonia Aelia Augusta Italica. The area was a major producer of grain and olive oil, and some families with private farms became very wealthy exporting to Rome.

From the 3rd century AD the town lost its affluence, possibly due to a problem with its port on the river Guadalquivir. Throughout the Middle Ages and until the last century, the ruins were used as a source of building materials - for the road from Merida to Sevilla in the 19th century, and for grand houses in Seville - look out for marble columns around the city. Fortunately the 25,000-seater amphitheatre, which was one of the largest in the Roman Empire, has partly survived (two storeys out of three). The central pit was used for animal cages (bears and wild boar) during gladiatorial combats. In 2016 it was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. 


Sevilla, the capital of Andalusia situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir River is the most cosmopolitan of its neighbors, a storied city that has been Andalucía’s seat of power and glory for nearly 1000 years.

After breakfast, your expert local Seville guide will meet you at your hotel to show you Seville’s Barrio Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter). You’ll see the cathedral that houses the remains of Christopher Columbus. Standing on the site of a great mosque, the structure features mudejar, gothic, renaissance, baroque, and neo-classical styles, as well as the old minaret of the Arab mosque. Make sure to climb the ramps to the Giralda Tower that offers outstanding views over the city. Take a moment to enjoy the sublime Patio de Los Naranjos (Courtyard of the Orange Trees) beside the cathedral.

You'll also visit the Alcazar, the site of the marriage between Carlos V and Isabel of Portugal in 1526. Its two beautiful outdoor courtyards are spectacular, and the tapestries and furniture are superb.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure for personal exploration or perhaps even a siesta!

Known as Hispalis in Roman times, Seville was taken by the Moors in 712 and remained a Muslim capital until the 13thcentury. Between 1503 and 1718 Seville had a monopoly as the only trading port between Spain and the Americas, becoming extravagantly wealthy and spawning a Golden Age of arts and literature. Seville is one of Europe’s sunniest cities – hence the orange trees growing everywhere. The combination of Moorish, Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque architecture through the city center’s compact maze of narrow streets really is a sensory overload by day or by night. The entire city comes to a standstill for the Feria and Easter week as the city celebrates tradition and community. For the rest of the year, it’s a perfect place to unwind, explore and of course, eat! You’ll find the same influences you see in the architecture has also trickled through to the food. Don’t be surprised to see film crews around. The Games of Thrones series has been filmed here recently and the city is attracting a lot of attention from a new fan base.

Dinner is at your leisure, but you are invited to join me for tapas! Tonight you are in for a special treat as we'll take in a traditional Flamenco Show. Flamenco is an art form that was born, and thrives, here in Spain. Spanish flamenco is the best because Spaniards start dancing when they can barely walk, and they dance everyday. The stomping of the feet, the twirling of the body, and the drama of the music are simply part of their culture.


More and more people are learning that Spain is a top culinary destination —not just the home of the famous paella, Spanish omelette and gazpacho.  Spain now boasts some of the world’s best and most renowned chefs and restaurants, along with a great variety of styles. 

Today, you'll enjoy a fun Cooking Class and discover the delights of Spanish & Andalusian cuisine.

This small group activity includes a visit to the Triana Food Market, where you will learn about locally grown products and participate in the selection of some ingredients that will be used later in the class. You will also meet some of the vendors, who have been there for generations. During the class, guests have the chance to get involved in the preparation of a 4 course menu, directed by an English speaking professionally trained chef. Classes are designed for both novice and experienced cooks who will be able to learn and develop new techniques and skills.

After the class, dine on what has been cooked, accompanied by wine. The activity takes roughly 4 hours (including eating time). 

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure for personal exploration. There is so much to see in Seville, and your local host can certainly help you with what you could visit on your own! We do recommend a visit to Plaza España, set amidst the wonderful gardens of Maria Luisa Park. Built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exhibition (World’s Fair) it is an impressive example of Renaissance Revival style architecture.

Enjoy dinner at your leisure.


Those flying back home, will either fly out of Sevilla to catch their flight home out of Madrid, and those who chose to continue their travels with me will be traveling to Portugal today. 

What's Included

What's Included

  • Private transportation while on tour (air conditioned vans or luxury mini buses)
  • Transfers from the airport in Madrid 
  • Train tickets between Madrid and Cordoba
  • Unwind for 10 nights in hand-picked, heart of the cities, accommodations:
    • 2 nights in Madrid 
    • 1 night in Cordoba 
    • 2 nights in Granada
    • 2 night in Ronda 
    • 3 nights in Sevilla 
  • Meals included: daily breakfast, 3 dinners - Tapas in Madrid, Granada, Sevilla 
  • Private walking tours with local expert English speaking tour guides in Madrid, Granada, Ronda, Cordoba, Sevilla 
  • Skip the lines with prepaid entrance fees to:
    • Royal Palace in Madrid
    • Mezquita in Cordoba
    • Cathedral and Alcazar in Seville
    • Alhambra in Granada with Generalife
    • Plaza de Toros in Ronda
    • Italica Seville
  • Free time for you to choose your own optional experiences 
  • Gratuities for drivers and restaurant staff at included meals (additional gratuities can be given at the sole discretion of each individual traveler).
  • Country specific information packet before departure
  • Hand-picked experiences:
    • enjoy a special tour and tasting of local olive oil 
    • family-owned winery tour and tasting 
    • watch a soul stirring-Flamenco show
    • peruse a local market followed by a private cooking lesson where you learn to make salmorejo and paella
    • discover the art of eating tapas
  • Discover Spain's cuisine: Our hand-crafted itinerary includes wonderful experiences with local cuisine as you enjoy a variety of included dinners (as indicated on the itinerary) at authentic Spanish restaurants. 
  • Taxes & Fees: Local VAT taxes and government fees, City Tax, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees.

NOTE: In the grand European traditions, I believe that dinner is a celebration of good food and wine, a celebration of culture and a celebration of family and friendship. Hosting this celebration is one of the joys of being a tour manager.  I guide you to your favorite dish … or help you choose something you’ve never tried before. I choose the perfect wines and throw in some local delicacies to broaden your palate and surprise you a bit. When we are at a cooking lesson or a wine tasting, rest assured that you'll go home with new knowledge that will increase your appetite for more. On every tour, I have included dinners as a group as well as nights on your own. Of course, you are always invited to join me at my favorite places or as I explore new and interesting restaurant finds. I also have a lot of recommendations and would be happy to make reservations for you.

Audrey's Gold Standard

I've personally tried, tasted and tested every single experience, ensuring quality and authenticity.  If it doesn’t meet my personal stamp of approval, it won’t be on your tour!  

What is not included

  • Passport fees, visa fees, immunization costs, entry clearing fees (when applicable)
  • Optional enhancements like room upgrades
  • Additional sightseeing, activities and experiences outside of your itinerary
  • Early check-in or late check-out from hotels
  • Personal charges such as laundry, phone calls, SIM cards or room service
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), unless specified in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Your international and domestic airfare
  • Porterage: Please note that you'll need to carry your own luggage up and down stairs at hotels and across cobblestone
  • See Terms and Conditions
4-DAY Extension to Portugal

Portugal Extension

Itinerary specifics subject to change

The Golden Age of Sea Travel can be felt everywhere in Portugal. The Portuguese were shipbuilders. By the 16th century they had the biggest and most powerful high-seas fleet in Europe. Vasco da Gama trail-blazed the way to India. Ferdinand Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the earth. These maritime adventurers have inspired us to create our own Age of Discovery and travel to Portugal over and over.

DAY 11: September 27, EVORA

Today we cross the border into Portugal on our way to Lisbon. On the way we stop in (Reguengoz de Monsaraz) at a charming and local winery where you will be treated to a tour of the grounds followed by a wine tasting and a petiscos lunch to savor the flavors of the region.

Enjoy one night in the town of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a former Roman city with ruins and a Corinthian columned Roman Temple still standing, the Temple of Diana.

Walk around in this 2000-year-old town including a visit to the Chapel of the Bones. Évora is a well-preserved walled city that will truly delight. One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Évora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th-century walls, Évora’s narrow, winding lanes lead to striking architectural works: an elaborate medieval cathedral and cloisters; the cinematic columns of the Templo Romano (near the intriguing Roman baths); and a picturesque town square, once the site of some rather gruesome episodes courtesy of the Inquisition. Aside from its historic and aesthetic virtues, Évora is also a lively university town.

DAY 12: September 28, LISBON

After breakfast, travel to Lisbon. Often overlooked for its popular European cousins, Lisbon specializes in lulling tourists into its laid-back charm. Perched atop seven hills, overlooking the Tagus River, its alleyways wind between colorful, centuries-old buildings. Fanciful St. George's Castle peeks out to the skyline, lending an Old World-mystery to the burgeoning cosmopolitan city. And despite the modern sleek buildings that are slowly rising throughout the city, village life holds strong. But there's more to Lisbon than lazing about in coffee shops nibbling pastéis de nata (custard tarts) all day, from exploring the various neighborhoods to taking in the view from the Santa Justa elevator, Lisbon's coastal capital is rich with opportunity.

The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755: The earthquake hit on All Saint’s Day, when most of the population was in church, many died as the roofs collapsed. The survivors had to contend with a tsunami that scoured the downtown, followed by five days of fire. It’s estimated that upward of 100,000 people died, in one of history’s deadliest earthquakes. Much of the city is still defined by the rebuilding that followed.

“Lisbon, more than anywhere in Portugal, has an international feel. You’ll find restaurants serving food from former colonies like Mozambique, Brazil and Angola right next to those serving traditional Portuguese dishes”.

This evening enjoy an included Fado show:  Fado music is a form of Portuguese singing that is often associated with pubs, cafés, and restaurants. This music genre officially originated in Portugal around the 1820s, though it is thought to have much earlier origins. Fado is known for how expressive and profoundly melancholic it is. In fado music, the musician will sing about the hard realities of daily life, balancing both resignation and hopefulness that a resolution to its torments can still occur. It can be described by using the Portuguese word “saudade,” which means “longing” and stands for a feeling of loss. This loss is generally permanent and of long-term consequence. Fado music often has one or two 12 string guitars, one or two violas, and sometimes a small 8 string bass.

DAY 13: September 29, TOUR OF LISBON

You’ll be met at your hotel by your expert local guide for a fun and educational half day private tour in Lisbon, combined with a gastronomic tour. This is a walking tour in the historical center of Lisbon that includes several specially chosen stops in both traditional and modern shops and cafes with delicious portuguese products. Immerse yourself in the portuguese culture and taste some amazing food and wine, while exploring in the company of your friendly guide the narrow streets of the city and unveiling the secrets of beautiful Lisbon.  You'll finish-up in a charming locale in the Bairro Alto for a sitdown, smorgasboard style lunch with wine.

This afternoon, visit Jeronimos Monastery, the Tower of Belem and Monument to the Discoveries​And of course, no trip to Lisbon is complete without  tasting the famous Pasteis de Belem pastry. 


After breakfast, depart for SINTRA, UNESCO World Heritage–listed center, where you will discover mountaintop medieval fortifications, vibrant fairytale castles, lush forests, and eccentric labyrinthine gardens, all in one location! It was for six centuries the favorite residence of the rulers and remains resort of large Lisbon families who have charming "quintas" or elegant palaces there. Visit the Palácio da Pena. Do not forget to taste Sintra’s delicious queijada (tartlet), the specialty of the city. We're then on to Quinta da Regaleira. This palace could have been the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s the Beauty and the Beast. Through clever architecture, tapping into a multitude of mystical beliefs throughout time and many different cultures, this estate conjures up an atmosphere of enchantment.

Free time for lunch.

Departure to the steep cliffs of CABO DA ROCA, the westernmost point of the European continent. Finally, departure to the "Sun Coast" and its beaches: the cosmopolitan ESTORIL, a sandy beach well known for the quality of its distractions, and CASCAIS, a traditional fishing port, but also a very lively resort.

DAY 15: October 1, DEPARTURE DAY

Be a part of a cultural melting pot of Moorish, Jewish, and Christian history, from extraordinary architecture to endless culinary delights.

What Audrey's clients are saying...


Shelly and Lalan from Dallas TX

Our trip to Friuli with Audrey and Manlio was incredible! From the first contact with Audrey (thanks to a Google search!) through the planning process, we felt confident about her professionalism and attention to detail. What we didn't know until our trip began is how much fun and local insight Audrey and Manlio would bring to the whole experience. Audrey was quick to laugh with us, to anticipate our every need, and to prepare us for each day's adventures. Manlio was a steady presence, handling driving and sharing stories and memories that enhanced our trip. Their love for Friuli is evident, and it's contagious! Our trip was everything we hoped for and more. We're telling everyone to head to Friuli to see a different side of Italy. There are no better guides to the region than Audrey and Manlio. Grazie to you both! 


Carolyn and Roger from Dallas TX

We have had the most memorable trip to beautiful Italy, made all the better by working with Travels With Audrey.  We were keen to explore the region of Friuli and the region surpassed our expectations.  Experiencing the history, cuisine and wine of this special region was a daily joy. Having Audrey and Manlio as our main guides made all hassles and irritations of international travel melt away as we were effortlessly transported to our tours, meals and activities.  The hotels arranged by Audrey were beautifully appointed and perfectly located.  We found the pre-trip booklet very helpful in planning for and packing for the trip. She crafted a perfectly paced journey, hired wonderfully educational and knowledgeable guides and attended to all our needs along the way.  Audrey and Manlio provided a great balance of help and guidance during the day while also allowing us time on our own to explore and discover cities and sights on our own.

We took a chance hiring Audrey to lead us on our trip and we were blessed with great fortune in discovering her services.  We cannot overemphasize how our travel to the amazing region of Friuli was enhanced by doing so with Audrey and Manlio.  We look forward to meeting them again as dear friends when we return in the future.


Kathy and Rich from Ann Arbor MI

We had a family adventure with 13 of us, ages 1 to 67 years old, related as brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, and grandchildren.  Audrey spent two weeks with the whole gang as our Tour Manager and then my husband Rich and I stayed on another week with Audrey to see sites in Northern Italy with her as our driver-guide. The whole trip was AWESOME.  We made marvelous memories together.  Audrey was terrific at meeting the needs of this diverse group.  She took us to special spots that we had visited with her 5 years before.  That is one of the reasons we selected her to help guide us and she far exceeded our expectations.  She also added many new treasures to enjoy and share with each other.  Audrey is organized, knowledgeable, fun, flexible, curious, thoughtful, energetic, discreet, adventurous, and sentimental. We enjoyed Audrey’s tour and her company as she shared her favorite spots with us along the way.  We ate things that surprised us  and went to places that we would never have found on our own. Audrey was our constant guide and friend.  Tomorrow night I am meeting with the family to begin planning a trip with Audrey to France in the fall!

a unique european travel experience

Michelle from Litchfield ME

Traveling with Audrey is no ordinary kind of guided travel. Although it can be “interesting” to see the sights that all tourists “should see” (according to tour companies and travel books), I look for more than that. I want to experience what living around those sights is all about – the land, the people, the history and the connection between these that results in different cuisines, traditions, and cultural ways. And that’s what makes Audrey a one-of-a-kind tour manager for me. Because that’s just what she delivered. If you’ve ever visited family/friends in another country who have shown you around, taken you to their favourite places and given you some background into what you were seeing (and did all the driving and talking to locals!), then you know what I mean. It’s a kind of deep immersion into more of the life a local person experiences.

For example, we were in a shop in Italy where all kinds of pasta and sauces were sold. The shop owner clearly was passionate about the products she was selling, as evident by the dialogue between her and Audrey (who btw, is also an enthusiastic foodie!). I tried asking about the pasta, but the shop owner’s English was very limited, and I have no Italian. She struggled to find even a few words to explain which pastas went with what sauces. Audrey came over and with her help translating, I was able to learn so much from the shop owner. Afterwards, she even remarked to Audrey how nice it was for her to be able to explain in greater detail what I was looking at. And that is something that would not have happened had I been on my own or travelling with a tour company on a preset itinerary.  Her amazing ability to flip between several languages, her extensive and personal knowledge of the areas, its history, her ability to connect with locals and let's not forget her incredible driving skills in the mountains and narrow city streets have made this a trip of a lifetime! No stress, no hassles, less crowds. Travels With Audrey has my highest recommendation!


Gail, Bill, Bruce, Tom and Lil from Dallas TX and Tulsa OK

Thank you, Audrey for the “perfect tour” of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.  Our merry little band of “over 70” year olds would have never made this trip on our own, nor would we have tolerated a big bus tour.  Your planning, time management and adjustments to our daily needs and itinerary were invaluable.  We especially enjoyed your personalized booklet as it was a great resource for our pre-trip travel planning.  The daily tour information with history and highlights of all our destinations was also very helpful.  The museums, boat and train rides, castles, wine tastings and your little surprises were enjoyed by all.  Most of all we got to enjoy these countries through all the food experiences you planned.  The Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamic Vinegar and Prosciutto tours were all interesting and tasty. 

Speaking of food, all the restaurants you took us to for lunch and dinner were over the top when it came to ambiance, scenic views and crazy good food.   We dinned everywhere from a ski gondola to a wine cave to hillside restaurants – fantastic.  These are just a few of the reasons we chose you for the second time to guide us on our lengthy tour.  Lastly, thank you for driving us over 2,200 miles, through 4 countries, in a span of 3 weeks so we could enjoy the beautiful countryside of these amazing countries….and did I mention the FOOD.  This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us that we all enjoyed and could not imagine entrusting anyone but you with coordinating this trip.  You have spoiled us rotten when it comes to traveling. Thank you for everything, Gail, Bill, Lil, Tom and Bruce

Italy off the beaten path

Janet and Timothy from Seattle WA

After some research online we found and liked Audrey’s website and decided she would be a good fit for the kind of tour we had in mind, which entailed the availability of Audrey as our driver-guide who confidently drove us around well-known and lesser-known regions of Italy allowing us to discover little known locations and enjoy wonderful food and delicious wines along the way. The best part of it was the complete ability to let the trip just happen, without having to worry about anything. From driving itineraries to hotels, private guided tours in Rome and the Vatican to wine tastings and suggestions for places to eat, Audrey took care of it all for us. I would absolutely recommend Travels with Audrey, especially if you are looking for a private tour and do not want the hassle of planning or driving in a foreign country.  Audrey introduced us to parts of Italy we did not know existed! Our understanding and appreciation for Italy are now so much deeper that we would like to go back and re-visit some of those areas. By far the most notable experiences included observing the truffle hunting dogs at work in Umbria. We then had the opportunity to watch fresh pasta being made from scratch followed by a hearty lunch, accompanied by good local wines. All of this at their private home as if we part of their family. Wild boar home smoked “salame”, fresh pasta with a delicious truffle sauce…all of it conspired to creating lots of very fond memories! 

Lesia and Kenneth

Lesia and Kenneth from Grand Rapids MI

Our small group of eight saw Paris and Provence in 10 days with each day full of adventure and new experiences to our senses. This was our second trip using Audrey as our traveling guide. Our first trip was to Italy and with our 12 year old son. We did not hesitate to sign up for Audrey's small group tour to France when we received the information. Audrey is not just a guide, but becomes a friend who advocates for her guests. 

Audrey speaks 5 languages and has much knowledge about the places she takes her guests. When you travel with Audrey ALL logistics are taken care of. She is very detailed oriented and ensures that each guest is comfortable. Her trips are smooth and seamless. Tickets for museums and other events are purchased in advance and Audrey's group is ushered in; not waiting in long lines. Audrey hires expert tour guides for museums and villages who enrich your experience and bring history back to life. In France, we visited some main attractions, but then dove deep off the beaten path to feel the pulse of daily life in quaint villages. I liked it that in Provence we stayed in one Inn as our base camp and then drove to different villages from there. It was a comfort to have such a beautiful Inn to call our home for seven days while in Provence, where each guest had their own veranda. We enjoyed ancient Roman ruins, places where Van Gogh lived, open air markets, medieval castles, and a day on the Mediterranean in a boat swimming and exploring the Calanques. We learned about French wines and olive oils. We visited a beautiful lavender store where we learned about the different lavenders. Audrey knows how to put a trip together and is tuned into each guest to make sure everyone is comfortable. We are looking forward to doing more trips with Audrey.


Tara and Mark from Leawood KS

This was our second trip with Audrey and once again, the service she provides is top-notch. Her itineraries are a blend of must-see attractions and unique, off-the-beaten path experiences, with unplanned time for you to explore on your own. Audrey takes care of every detail so you can focus on enjoying your time abroad. She chooses hotels, restaurants, and experiences that are charming, upscale and authentic. Fluent in multiple languages, she has solid cultural knowledge of many European countries, and chooses excellent local guides who provide deeper context and history. We love traveling with Audrey, and can’t wait for our next trip with her!

guests enjoying a private cicchetti crawl with Audrey in Venice

Jean and Alan from Denver CO

We highly recommend Audrey and here’s why: During the planning phase of our trip we emailed back & forth a lot.  We changed our entire itinerary from what we started with when we first met with Audrey to our final trip.  Audrey was so accommodating with all of our “changing our minds” on where we wanted to go and things we wanted to see.  She found new things to do when we went a new direction.  Audrey planned the vacation exactly the way we wanted it. Every detail was planned out, up to personal drivers and personal tour guides. We didn’t have to worry about anything. She provided additional info for places to eat and things to see and she was always there if we had a problem or question while on our trip. The Personal Guides were outstanding-very friendly and knowledgeable and the tickets to bypass the lines were exceptional. Hotels were centrally located for easy walking and all very clean and friendly.

We really enjoyed Audrey taking us to the Venice that most tourist don’t get to see, especially our “Venetian Bar Crawl with wine and Cicchetti”. We were fortunately very lucky to have Audrey as our driver-guide from Rome to San Marino and eventually to Venice. She was a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area we were driving through. It was such a pleasure to work with Audrey: our trip was OUTSTANDING because of the care and personal attention she gave to us from our initial planning to our final itinerary.

8 Day Sicily Private Tour

Marie and Frank from Marion MA

Thank you Audrey for planning an amazing, life-changing trip to Sicily for us. It truly was a dream come true, and you and your in-country associates made it so memorable for us. We packed a lot into a one-week itinerary, and it was the perfect balance of seeing ancient ruins, countryside, food tours, baroque architecture, the Mediterranean Sea and strolling town centers and main streets. And of course shopping and food! 

The company hired to drive us around all week was incredible, and our guides at the ruins were very, very knowledgeable. Your pamphlets and vouchers helped us to feel more informed and organized before leaving home too. I discovered my ancestral neighborhood on this trip, and it is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. My only regret is that I can't get on a plane tomorrow and go right back! This trip was a long time in the making, and I thank you for your flexibility, for answering so many questions, and for staying in touch with us while we were in Sicily. Many thanks, Grazie mille!


Eleni from Toronto ON

My family and I just returned from a vacation to Italy, planned by Audrey. I had never been to Italy before, and I didn’t know where to begin planning. Audrey’s knowledge of Italy is incredible. We gave her some ideas, and our budget, and she planned the most amazing trip for us! Each step was perfect. The hotels were beautiful, and we loved private tours of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Florence. The cooking class she set up in Sorrento was one of the highlights! We kept raving about how flawless and easy each part of the trip was! And Stresa, a place we never even knew about, was breathtaking! If it wasn’t for Audrey, we would have never gone there! She planned every detail, right down to the train tickets. Audrey, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You made our trip perfect and memorable. We will definitely be booking with you again! 

small group tour to southern spain

Dan and Martha from Tulsa OK

Martha and I are three-time travelers with Audrey. We have found a way to travel that suits how we want to see new places! It is so stress free to have someone who has taken care of all of the travel arrangements, ticket purchases, and dinner reservations ahead of time. You can just relax and enjoy. While we want to see the main attractions, we also want to get a more personal feel for the places where we visit. With Audrey's connections and small groups, we get to see and experience things that most tourists don't even know exist. Our recent trip was excellent and if you're thinking about travel, I would highly recommend Travels with Audrey!

customized private tour of italy including the amalfi coast

Kelly and Dave from Brampton ON

My husband and I just completed a tour of Italy arranged with Travels with Audrey. Everything was perfect, I mean, really perfect! I’m sure Audrey even arranged the weather!! The hotel recommendations were impeccable, as were the restaurants, and each of our guides along the way was extremely knowledgeable, personable and such a pleasure to spend time with. It was a trip completed at our pace, acknowledging our wishes, but with some gentle (and much needed) guidance. We feel we’ve not only gained a real knowledge and understanding of the sights we’ve seen, but a real appreciation for the rich history of Italy and the lives of its inhabitants today. Some olive oil and a few pieces of ceramic have been picked up along our travels, as well as about 2,500 photos, but more than that, our lives have been enriched by our experience, and we’ve gained a new friend. From the bottom of our hearts, thank-you Audrey! 

small group tour to spain

Amy from Minneapolis MN

Three friends and I joined Audrey on this trip and had a wonderful time. The trip was incredibly well organized, fun, and stress-free. Compared to other group tours I've been on, this one was top notch in every way. We were consistently impressed with the quality of hotels, guides, activities, restaurants, and food/wine recommendations. One of the best aspects of the trip was just spending time with Audrey. Always a font of knowledge, upbeat, smiling and a joy to be around! Highly recommend Travels With Audrey. If you have an opportunity to take a trip with her, or to have her arrange your trip, just do it!

la joie de vivre small group tour to france

Mariah and Joseph from Pasadena CA

We are thrilled to have used Travels with Audrey. Our trip to France was a lifetime experience and it couldn’t have happened without Audrey’s expertise with the country and the culture. One thing we loved about our trip was Audrey’s knowledge of each region we went to and her connecting our group with locals who guided us through each region’s specialties. If we had been with a generic tour guide, we would have missed so much of the local culture and the highlights we had with each person that guided us. This also included the accommodations that Audrey set up - our hotels were all locally owned and the personal touch at each place was wonderful. I can’t imagine if we didn’t have Audrey to guide us, how much we would have missed.
In addition, we had specific needs for our family while we were there that were difficult to accommodate. Audrey takes such a personal approach that our need for space and some privacy were provided beautifully and by the end of our trip, Audrey felt like our own family and that is just an intangible benefit of her personality and service. We are happy to give Travels with Audrey a 5 star review and highly recommend her services as a tour specialist! Thanks! 


Kelly from Mission Hills KS

My family of 4 greatly enjoyed Paris, Provence, Lyon, Burgundy and Normandy. Audrey is an outstanding travel facilitator. Her personal attention to details and adjusting itineraries to meet our needs was really helpful. From planning to leading us throughout the trip we had just the right amount of activity, relaxing time, group time, and alone time. Her lifetime of experience and in-depth knowledge of the area was such a bonus. Can't recommend highly enough the value she provides. Looking forward to traveling with Audrey again!

8 Day Private Guided Tour of Provence

Janet from Arvada CO

In June, Audrey led our group of 8 artist friends through the lovely towns of Provence, France.  I asked her to help create a relaxing pace through the beautiful villages where artists historically came to paint and see the summer light of the Mediterranean towns.  She helped choose the places to visit, chose a charming boutique hotel on the edge of St Remy, drove us, translated for us, and basically guided us through our experience at a relaxed pace.  It was just perfect and Audrey is a charming and knowledgeable host. We took her recommendations for which towns to stay longer, where to eat (Audrey is a foodie!) and where the best shopping was. I highly recommend Audrey to put together your group vacation, just the way you want it!  Merci beaucoup, Audrey! Should I mention that Audrey and I met as tour managers and have been friends for almost 10 years? I know her planning and attention to detail is impeccable.

Customized Itinerary for a Family Vacation to Italy

Barbara from Grand Junction CO

My family and I recently traveled to Italy with Audrey. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and all agreed that Audrey enhanced our trip way beyond anything we could have organized ourselves. Audrey is well networked with local hotels, guides and transportation services. What that meant for us, is that we got the best rooms in the hotels with views, we travelled in Luxury Mercedes vans and mini-buses with friendly, knowledgeable drivers. Our Guides to the many venues enriched our tours with their vast amount knowledge and enthusiasm. And they could get us in to venues skipping lines that were blocks long. Amazing!

All of Audrey’s contacts respect and adore her and make sure her clients get the best service. We went to many of the most well-known sights and places, such as Florence, Rome, the Vatican and Tuscany. However, we also went to many off the beaten track places that Audrey knew that were wonderful, such as lunch and wine tasting at the Chianti winery, a private dinner prepared by our own chef in Rome and to some Greek ruins that were incredible in southern Italy to mention a few.

I highly recommend Audrey. She is a warm gracious woman who works very hard for you and keeps your group organized. She saves you hours of logistics time, because she knows the regions and people well. Paying the money up front in the beginning was scary, but we had heard about her and took the risk. She really took care of us. Our family all agreed that our small group tour was far more satisfying than a larger tour could have ever been for not much more money.

private tour of northern france

Bill, Gail, Tom and Lil from Dallas TX and Tulsa OK

We just took a tailored two week trip with our best friends.  Audrey developed our travel plan to Edinburgh, London, Normandy and the Loire valley.  It was a DREAM TRIP.  The hotels were all very good and the food was superb.  The best thing about the trip was the personal guides that Audrey set up for us; they were extremely knowledgeable, personable and entertaining.  Audrey drove us around in France and was our guide in the Loire.  A great trip! 
View Bill, Gail, Tom & Lil's private tour package and what they consider to be most valuable about Audrey's service

greek temples in italy

Marti and Bob from Ann Arbor MI

I would like to thank you for making our family vacation so special. Everything went without a hitch, from the tour guides, to the dinners you planned. We LOVED everything! The special personal chef night was fantastic, just perfect! I know traveling with toddlers is not always easy but you made it seamless. I really appreciated you giving them places to go that the girls would enjoy, and the hotel with the pool, great choice. You know that I chose to book with you because you were our guide five years ago and we really enjoyed ourselves then. I’m so happy we found you again. Booking with you was easy and I will not hesitate to recommend you to all my friends and family.


Beth and Jay from Dallas TX

 We have used Audrey’s services twice in the past, once to Italy and once to Spain. Our most recent trip was to Spain. This trip exceeded our expectations in many ways. First of all, individual travelers are different and have different needs. Audrey takes this into account and tailors the trip to the specific personality of the group. For example, our group had a mixture of adults, young adults and teenagers. Audrey arranged the transportation so that we were never rushed in the morning, had ample time to eat breakfast and set off to a day of sightseeing feeling rested and excited about the day. We visited all the typical tourist spots, but also had intimate “one of a kind” trips to a vineyard, sherry bodega, cooking class and olive oil factory. The longer drives were broken up by timely stops in unique towns. All this adds up to a one of a kind experience that really allows you to feel the culture of the country. We left the hotel planning up to Audrey and each hotel was centrally located, unique and clean. Audrey has extensive knowledge about the countries that she offers and a love for travel and the people. You cannot go wrong with a trip with Audrey. Try her once, and like us, you will be back for more. 


Angela and Juan from Desoto TX

My family just got back from a 10 day trip to Spain with Audrey and it was AWESOME!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to travel again without her! Audrey took care of everything…hotels, transportation, obtaining tickets to sites, shows, etc., which left us to just enjoy our trip! We had told her in advance which activities and cities we were interested in and she made it happen. She was even able to squeeze in some extra activities (like wine tasting!) while we were there. Audrey is so nice, and easy to talk with. We really enjoyed her company and her love for the country. If you want to have a great vacation without any worries, you have to use Audrey!


Gregg, Maureen, Coleen and Donald

Just want to say thank you once again for a most fabulous tour. The fact that you designed it to suit our very specific interests was phenomenal. Everything went very smoothly. You knew just what arrangements were necessary to accomplish everything in the time we had available. We were very pleased with the transportation, restaurants, sites, guides, etc. The whole trip could not have gone better.  Our tour realized the dream my wife and sister in law wanted to fulfill: following the footsteps of their father as a paratrooper during the 2nd World War. We met many great people and have wonderful memories. I will always cherish the “down” times when Maureen and I had a sandwich and a beer at a sidewalk café in Paris and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Berlin with Frau Vogel. Looking forward to future travels!


Tony and Dan from Atlanta GA

We were fortunate enough to have had Audrey De Monte serve as Tour Manager for our 10 day family trip to Europe. The tour was a 10-day multi generational family tour (grandparents to teen age grandchildren) of the cities of Paris, Venice and Rome. Audrey was extremely well organized and always provided multiple suggestions to make sure that everyone was having a great time. She knew the cities well which enabled us to get access to great reasonably priced restaurants that served authentic local food which was not an easy task for such a large group. She kept our group on time and always offered suggestions for other activities when we had free time. She made this family trip a very precious memory for all and for that we are grateful. Thank you Audrey!


Audrey and Gerald

We just got back from our Italian "adventure" last night and I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing with you some of my thoughts about this trip. Most importantly, our local host and tour manager, Audrey, made this a most memorable time with her knowledge, patience, sweetness and fun personality.  This could have been a very grueling time with the extreme heat, non-stop walking and lack of sleep but Audrey made it extremely enjoyable.  We couldn't have asked for anyone better and we feel blessed that we were lucky enough to have her as our guide.  The itinerary was fabulous and we especially loved the side trips to San Gimignano, Assisi, Cortona and the winery tour with lunch. I also wanted to mention that our culinary experience in Tuscany was an evening we will never forget. I highly recommend Travels with Audrey for your vacation to Italy. 


Shirley and Allyson Hanna from Wyandotte MI

Allyson and I were very impressed with our tour to Italy! We wouldn't have changed a thing!!! We loved our hotels from the staff to the hotels and fabulous breakfast buffets. Our views from each of them were wonderful...especially the one in Rome. The nearby restaurants were superb. We both loved the first meal together with the taste-testing of drinks. It was a great way to meet each other and an excellent indication of what was ahead of us!!! Audrey's enthusiasm, attention to details and sweet surprises made each day very special: the musicians on the gondola ride, the wine and appetizers on the balcony, the chocolate candy on the bus and the rooftop wine tasting (what a view). Audrey was really a fantastic tour manager. We appreciated how much she knew about Italy and that she spoke Italian. She flawlessly made all the arrangements, so that we didn't have to think about anything besides enjoying our trip. She was also an easy person to travel with! We can't recommend her highly enough!

small group tours italy

Maureen and Peter

Thank you for your incredible leadership! As I scribbled on a post card to you on our last day in Sorrento, we truly appreciated your intelligent, enthusiastic, warm, witty and often personalized guidance throughout our wonderful trip to Italy. Your personal imprint was upon each of us who shared in this incredible adventure, and I know I speak for everyone when I say a sincere thank-you for making it so very special for each and every one of us! As our daughter, expressed it, you have the best career in the world! I know that we just witnessed the frosting on the cake, and that your expertise made everything seem so flawless, but that was all because of the hard work that you did behind the scenes. As Captain Jean Luc Picard would say, "make it so!" You are very special! 


Paul and Tammy

Audrey, just wanted to tell you again how much we enjoyed sharing a little part of Italy with you and our other travel companions. The people, the food and wine, the culture, and the experiences will linger as vivid memories. You made it all happen as it should. Thank you for your professionalism, but most of all for your personal involvement and caring that made everything seem to happy naturally. More than a one-time tour manager, I hope to count you as a new friend. Thanks again and we hope to share new travel experiences with you again in more exciting places in the future. God bless you.


Anna and Doug

We just wanted to thank you for making our honeymoon simply unforgettable. We think we were so very fortunate to have had you as our tour manager. You are amazing. Everything about you fits what you do perfectly. We appreciated your being so knowledgeable about the places we visited, so well prepared and we loved your personality. We find ourselves reminiscing of so many lovely times we had. We would definitely travel with you again! You will be glad to know the bottles of wine made it just fine. And speaking of wine, dining with you at you own personally chosen restaurants was a unique, wonderful experience as well! 


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Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia
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